Norfolk’s opening Minor Counties Championship of the season against old rivals Suffolk ended in a tame draw at Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

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Suffolk, trailing by 191 runs overnight with eight first-innings wickets still standing, built a 55-run lead as they batted on well into the afternoon.

That they did so was largely down to a 196-run stand for the third wicket between Martyn Cull and Hassan Adnan, who had come together the previous evening with Suffolk 25 for two in the 13th over.

The pair didn’t take any risks and looked increasingly comfortable as they stayed together until the last ball of the 68th over. Cull, on 98, shaped to pull a ball from Norfolk skipper George Walker which was not short enough to do so and was bowled, so missing out on his century. Adnan duly reached three figures before finally draggin on to his stumps off the bowling of Michael Eccles.

Skipper Justin Bishop joined Sasha Ward in a 51-run alliance before Bishop was bowled for 29. Ward batted well on his way to his highest score for the county of 33 before he fell to a good catch at mid-on by Peter Lambert.

Chris Swallow was run out by some distance off the next delivery trying to take two to backward point as Suffolk finished seven runs short of maximum batting points. On reaching 11 Norfolk opener Carl Rogers became the county’s second-highest run-scorer of all time after passing Steve Plumb, but departed soon after when he was bowled by a delivery of full length from Matt Hunn.

That was in the ninth over, and James Spelman and Stephen Gray took the total to 49 before the latter drove the ball back at Chris Swallow, and the Suffolk off spinner held an ankle-high catch.

With the match going nowhere the two skippers called time on the contest just ten minutes after tea – a full 40 minutes plus the final 20 overs before the scheduled close.

Minor Counties Championship

Bury St Edmunds

Suffolk (9pts) drew with Norfolk (9pts)

Overnight: Norfolk 263-6 (JM Spelman 62); Suffolk 72-2.

Suffolk First innings (continued)

M Cull b Walker 98

H Adnan st Gray b Brown 111

S Ward c Lambert b Brown 33

J Bishop b Eccles 29

S Rees not out 4

C Swallow run out 1

T Rash not out 5

Extras 18

Total (for 7 wkts dec, 90 overs) 318

Did not bat: C Warn, M Hunn.

Fall continued: 3-221, 4-254, 5-305, 6-309, 7-310.

Bowling: Eccles 24-6-76-2; Bunting 14-2-37-1; Spelman 4-1-10-0; Brown 21-6-73-2; Caswell 7-2-32-0; Walker 16-2-62-1; Rogers 4-0-17-0.

Norfolk 2nd innings

J Spelman not out 21

C Rogers b Hunn 15

S Gray c & b Swallow 14

P Lambert not out 13

Extras 8

Total (for 2 wkts, 28 overs) 71

Fall: 1-25, 2-49.

Bowling: Hunn 7-1-22-1; Rash 7-2-18-0; Swallow 7-3-10-1; France 5-1-17-0; Adnan 2-1-3-0.

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